Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Precious Gift.....

Not Exactly What I Wanted For Christmas

I started having a little bit of a sore throat Saturday night right before I went to bed. I thought it was probably from cheering on the boys at their basketball games. Seth played 1st Saturday morning, and scored 2 baskets :) Coy played that afternoon, and was on fire with defence. Both boys teams won. I do my fair share of cheering/yelling from the bleachers, so I figured that was where my sore throat came from. It was only slightly scratchy Sunday, but when I woke up for work on Monday morning it was still sore. I worked all day Monday with a cough drop in my mouth, and even drank some hot tea w/honey. I talk all day, pretty much non-stop @ work, so I figured that was why my throat was feeling worse. After my 13 hour shift, I called Tim on my way home & told him that I was going to come in & take a hot shower & go straight to bed. He was sweet & had hot chicken soup waiting, when I got home. I drank it, and went to bed.

I coughed on & off all night long. I woke up to get ready for work Tuesday morning, and my temperature was 100.5, and I was now aching all over & nauseated. I called work to let them know I wouldn't be there, took some tylenol and went back to sleep on the couch. When I woke up a little later I felt as close to "dying" as I ever have. I was able to get an appointment with my BFF, who happens to be a Nurse Practitioner. I tested positive for the flu :( YES I took the flu shot this year. I always take a flu shot, I'm a nurse. I take care of sick people. I've never had the flu before now, and hope that in the future my flu shot works.

I did start on Tamiflu Tuesday. It has helped speed my recovery, but this flu has kicked my bootie! I've been wearing a mask (which Gloria Grace finds comical). I've pretty much just laid around. Simply taking a shower wipes me out.

My sweet mom came & got the goodies I planned to give our neighbors sorted out & packaged to give them. Tim delivered them. Mom also took my grocery, and last minute Christmas shopping list & took care of that, too. My mother-in-law made us some soup. Glad to have so much help.

I am hopeful that tomorrow I have the energy I need to begin preparations for Christmas dinner (which is at our house). I also hope to feel well enough to go to Christmas Eve Services at church. I will not cough on anyone, or shake any one's hands :)

I also can not wait to be well enough to give Ms. Gloria Grace a big fat kiss!

Thankful, that the rest of the family has not gotten sick. Everyone started on Tamiflu, except GG, because she is too little. She did get the flu shot, but so did I.

Praying that your house is well for Christmas.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Christmas Season

Sometimes I find myself going through the motions. Just going along living everyday life. Then there are times when I take a moment to stop, and take it all in. Tonight, as I listened to Tina Hutchinson sing Mary Did You Know, I had one of those moments.

I have really just been going through the motions of the "Christmas Season." I just haven't quite been able to "get into it." Tonight I realized why. It's because I know the true reason for celebrating Christmas. It's not just so we can shop, and buy our kids things they don't need.

This year I'm feeling more convicted than ever about it celebrating Christmas the world's way.

I have already received The BEST gift (not GG, although she is a close second)....Jesus is my savior, and because of Him I need nothing more.

I am thankful for the additional gifts He has given me. . .

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

So Much To Be Thankful For

The Watson Family has so much to be Thankful for. I've been thinking a lot lately about Gloria Grace's birth mother. This time last year, she would have been 6 months pregnant. The pregnancy was not in her plan. She was trying to figure out what to do, and her sister told her about the birth mother program @ Chiquitines. Her sister went with her, in support of her, to talk about adoption.

At the same time, we were waiting & praying. We are no longer waiting, but we are still praying. Praying prayers of Thanksgiving for our sweet gift, and praying for AGB's (GG's birth mother) heart to be comforted & have peace in the decision she made. We have been blessed beyond measure.

We have already enjoyed our 1st Thanksgiving meal of 2010. The boys school invites parents to lunch. The boys have lunch at different times, but thankfully they are back to back. GG likes turkey & dressing :)

I'm looking forward to spending time w/family this week. We'll also be dedicating Little Miss this weekend @ church. Again I say, we have been blessed beyond measure.

Friday, November 5, 2010

9 Months Ago Today

9 months ago today "AGB" Gloria Grace's birthmother was in the hospital in Colombia delivering our daughter. Wondering if she is thinking about our sweet girl. Praying for Gloria Grace's birthmother. Praying God has blessed her with peace.

Thanking God for His beautiful gift!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

90 Days!

Wow! Time sure flies, when you are having fun!! July 19th was the day we were able to look into the beautiful dark chocolate brown eyes of God's gift~~making our family of 5. I must say that it is very hard to seems like we were just there, but then it also feels like Gloria Grace has been in our family forever.

I still get chills & tears in my eyes every time I look at this picture. Seeing the pure joy on the faces of my boys (Tim included). If you could see Gloria Grace's face, she is smiling a sweet chubby cheek smile right back at us. This is a picture of God knowing & overflowing the desires of our hearts.

I have said it many times before; God has blessed us beyond measure. Here is the cutest, sweetest, most lovable 8 month old pumpkin in the patch :)
We are about to have our first post placement visit on Monday, and then we will be visited every 6 months until 21 months post placement. Tim & I were discussing our upcoming 90 day visit last week, when Coy piped up & asked "are we ever going to be done with paperwork." One day love :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Gloria Grace Is Getting a Little Too Big for Her Own Britches :)

Tomorrow our sweet little girl will be 8 months old.
Today, she's been getting into all kinds of new mischief :~P

Here are two instances ~~ She has turned over the kitty's water bowl:

She has also found the bottom of the stairs. There is no way to attach a baby gate to our banister, so we will have to keep an Eagle's eye on her. You can see in these pictures how very proud she is of her newest accomplishment:

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Blessed With One Less

I came across this song/story by Matthew West, on another adoptive families blog. Wow, does it hit home. He talks about how it makes you feel good, but also hits you in the gut. It's 4 minutes....I dare you to watch it :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

DYE Eagle Stomp

Friday was the DYE Eagle Stomp. This is the one big PTO fundraiser @ the boy's school. I have been blessed to be able to help with "first aid." Which is actually just applying band aids to scrapes, when the "stompers" wipe out :(

The boys had fun. They walk/run with their class for 30 minutes, and then they have fun & games. The principal & various teachers take turns in the dunking booth. There are inflatables, corn hole, & free snow cones :)

Gloria Grace joined in the fun, until it was time for her nap. Grandma came & took her to her house for the rest of the day.
I can't seem to get blogger to let me type in between the pictures, when they are lined up on the left side. I'm not re-uploading them.
The first one is Gloria Grace looking a little sad that she's not going to get to stay & party all day :)
The second & third are Seth & Coy's class'.
The fourth is Coy Painting my face. He is in the Art Club this year :)
The fifth picture is him letting me paint his face, and the last shows how well the face paint doubled as sunblock :)


Sunday, September 19, 2010

I Am A Total Blog Slacker!

I can't seem to keep up with this blog now. Maybe it's because I have a 7 month old CRAWLING all over the place :) Gloria Grace is totally mobile now. She started out a few weeks ago with the "army crawl." Where she would be pulling herself around, while laying on her belly. She is now able to do the hand & knees crawling, and she's getting faster everyday :) She is also a professional at sitting up on her own, and proud of it I might add. It's very cool to see the boy's amazement each time she does something new.

We've pretty much settled in to being a family of 5 :)

The boys are doing well in school, and have settled into a routine. Coy is in 5th grade & Seth is in 2cd. Mid-9 week progress reports showed that both boys are on target for a great year. Coy is excited to be in the art club this year. Seth is happy to have a few friends from last year in his class again. Both boys are looking forward to basketball starting next month.

A couple of weeks ago, Nashville hosted the Music City BBQ festival. This was one of our first outings, besides going to church. It was hot, and unfortunately we choose the wrong booth to buy BBQ from. It was the saltiest BBQ I have ever eaten. It was not good at all. To top it off, when we left the festival I backed into a car in the parking lot :( I would have to say that it wasn't the funnest day. Here are a couple of pictures @ the festival:

It's not easy to get all 3 kids to look & smile simultaneously :)

The boys had fun rolling down the hill @ River Front Park:

We traditionally camp @ Barren River State Park in Kentucky on Labor Day weekend. I remember when I told Beth, from Gladney that I wanted to be home for the boys to go to school. I also told her that we had reservations for Labor Day weekend, and I remember her saying, really? :) We would not be anywhere else :) Gloria Grace, as usual, was fabulous the whole weekend. She even slept all night in her play pen :) Here are some pictures of our wonderful weekend:

Gloria Grace loved the hammock: Coy had to help get a branch off the top of Paw's camper:Such a handsome little/big brother:This is Little Ms. Gloria Grace crawling!I will leave you with by far THE cutest set of piggy tales you have ever seen :) I will try not to make it another 3 weeks before I post another update. I started on this one a week ago, and have worked on it 3 different times before I finally am done with it. :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Have We Really Been Home 3 Weeks?

Sometimes it feels like we've been home "forever," & Gloria Grace has always been here. I keep thinking about how long the two year process seemed @ times. Really looking back, that two years wasn't really that long. It's hard to explain. There were bumps in the "paperwork" road over & over again. There were so many times when it was 1 step forward & 10 steps back!

I would love to say that I never got upset & that I knew God had it all under control the whole time, but I'm human--so many times I cried & got frustrated. Now, on the home side of this journey I hope that I can be an encouragement to those people in the process. Those of you reading this who are taking a step forward only to take 10 back. Truly, God knows what He is doing!!!! If only we were able to read the "end of our book," so the middle chapters didn't seem so hard.

God uses the middle chapters to build our faith & trust in Him. I truly found peace in the fact that well before we even knew we would adopt, God knew who our daughter was. In May 2009 we were told we could expect a referral & travel in 3-6 we know now, that didn't happen. I was so disappointed, and allowed myself to be upset more than I should have. There was no way we could have travelled last year, because Gloria Grace wasn't born yet. I didn't know it then, but now it all makes perfect sense.
We are constantly trying to hurry life along, but in the end it is so sweet to wait on God.

The sweet little pink 147 million orphan T-shirts GG & Tim are wearing helps feed orphans in Uganda. Our dear friends the Oatsvalls were a huge support to us in our journey. They are co-founders of You can help feed orphans & help bring kids home by buying the gear. If you are adopting & need a fundraiser, check out their site.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What I Am Glad I Packed for Colombia

I have talked to a couple of other mom's that are about to journey with their families to Colombia. When I was getting ready to go, I also had a couple of mom's share helpful information with me. I thought I would try to post a some travel tips.

Before you go, when you first get your referral & you are putting together your child's care package, SEND A DISPOSABLE CAMERA. I am taking ours to be developed today...can't wait to see the shots the sweet caregivers took of GG.

Now, on to packing for your trip. Souvenirs & food are reasonably priced in Colombia, but baby stuff is not. I paid about $15.00 for 6 baby spoons! We also needed a dark shirt for GG's visa picture & had to pay about $12.00 for 1, yes just 1, plan (ugly) onesie. This was not from a designer store, either. It was a department store much like walmart. So, all that being said, take as much of you baby/child's stuff as you can. The orphanage will tell you what formula your baby is eating, and it is priced about the same as in the US. Our orphanage only bottle feeds the babies, until they are 6 months, so GG was not eating baby foods. I did see baby food jars, but mostly fruit. Not vegetables. If your baby is older & may be eating baby foods, you might want to bring some. Here is a list of what I brought.

Stuff I would for sure buy in the US & bring:

  • Baby bottles (you will buy formula in Colombia)
  • There are really not as many bottles here, as it looks. There is a mirror behind them :) I brought 2 different kind, not knowing what kind she'd be used to. Chiquitines uses the older type, like the ones on the right in these pictures. GG doesn't like the fancy NUK kind at all.
  • Baby Spoons
  • Diapers/wipes--these are only a little more expensive in Colombia, so if you are running out of room, you could wait & get them there.
  • Clothes (I had about 10 warm weather outfits & 4 cooler/fall outfits for Bogota)
  • Don't forget your dark shirt for your Visa picture
  • Burp clothes/bibs
  • Light weight blankets
  • nail clippers
  • infant carrier- we used a "hip hammock" You can bring a stroller, but the streets are not as stroller friendly & the carrier lets you bond with your baby even more.
  • a few small toys
  • I brought GG some shoes, but none of them fit her.
I also packed a little "medicine cabinet:"
For the baby:
  • saline nasal spray
  • infant tylenol
  • infant motrin
  • diaper cream
  • orajel
  • vicks vapor rub
For Us/older kids:
  • tylenol
  • motrin
  • cold meds
  • allergy meds
  • bug spray
  • beandryl/itch cream
  • bandaids
  • neosporin
We also brought our laptop computer & a magic jack w/a telephone. We used skype to video chat computer to computer with grandparents & friends. Skype is free to sign up & use computer to computer. We also purchased the magic jack @ Walgreens, before we went to Colombia. It was $39.95, and is good for a year. The magic jack plugs into a USB port in your computer, and allows you to call anywhere in the US for free. It's like you are making a call from home, but you are calling from Colombia. You must have a decent internet connection to use either of these. Both of our hotels (Cali & Bogota) had good internet service. The trip would not have been the same, if we couldn't have talked to family & friends back home so freely.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Life is Good

We've been home a whole week now. Sometimes it seems like life has always included our sweet 3rd child. She has been such an easy baby. People have asked how she is adjusting. She has had no problems. She is truly a blessing. There isn't much she doesn't like.

When we got home from Colombia last Saturday night. GG & I turned the corner from the gate to see our warm welcoming party :) How sweet it was to see so many familiar loving faces waiting to see Gloria Grace. I was glad to hand off my sweet 16½ pound bundle :) She had been in my arms since 10:00 Saturday morning. There were a couple of times I spread a blanket out in the airport floor, but only for a few minutes. My arms were "done" by the time we got to Nashville. We made our way home around midnight & gave GG a bath. She was tired & this helped relax her after our long day of travel. She had a bottle & was asleep by 1:00.
This is GG in her own crib for the first time :)

She slept until about 7:00am, and we got up & got ready for church. It was nice to see everyone that had been praying for our daughter over the last 2 years. She fell asleep right before we went into service, but woke up shortly after worship began. I can not even begin to describe the feeling of worshipping, singing "Glory to God," while holding the gift that we had waited 2 years for. This is GG getting ready to go out the door to church in her monogrammed outfit Tia Kristi gave her :)
GG got a little noisy (not fussing, but just making noises) so I took her out into the concourse. We went to meet the ladies that will be her teachers in the pre-school hall. It has been 3 years since the boys were in the pre-school hall! WOW!

The boys started school on Monday. We went to see them for lunch. They were both very sweet. I heard Coy say "have you missed me." They are truly in love. I am so happy for how God has worked on their hearts.
The boys heading out to their 1st day of school :)
GG & I went to have lunch with bothe the boys on their 1st day. I only got a picture of Seth @ lunch ~~mom fail :(

I did get a picture of Coy swinging w/his sister, though :)Tuesday we went to my work to turn in the rest of my FMLA paperwork. The ladies in the nursing office of course loved Gloria Grace.

Wednesday Daddy kept GG, while I went w/Kristi for a pedicure--ahhhh :) Then we came home & Kristi got to love on her.

Thursday my small group met for the 1st time since school let out @ the beginning of summer. I have missed these ladies!! It was nice to share our experience in Colombia & everyone was able to share in loving on Gloria Grace.

When Seth got home from school on Thursday, he was complaining that his throat was sore. I looked & it was red & I could see a lot of sinus drainage. I gave him a sinus tablet, but then he layed on the couch & fell asleep about 7:30. He had a low grade fever (100.4). Friday his temp was only 99.5 when he woke up, but his throat was hurting a lot. Sure enough--he tested positive for Strep :( We went to pick up his antibiotic, and they were out of the chewable tablets. They asked him if he wanted liquid or if he could swallow a capsule. He choose the capsule. He has swallowed small pills before, like a motrin. This was a capsule, and it was a little bigger than what he'd swallowed before. I took him to Sonic for a watermelon slush, and told him to take a drink-put the capsule in his mouth, and then drink until the pill went down. He did really well, and about 2 minutes after he swallowed the medicine he said "I can't believe I just swallowed plastic!" That boy cracks me up!!! He was highly restricted about being around GG. When he got up this morning he said "mommy, can I at least kiss her foot." Poor kid!

GG got to meet Auntie Trudy & Uncle Earl today. They were here visiting from Kentucky. We've pretty much just hung out @ home since the visit @ Grandma's.
It's been a nice 1st week home. We've begun to get into a routine. Gloria Grace has been going to bed between 8:30 & 9:00 & sleeping until around 7am. She naps usually twice a day. Once around 10am & again in the afternoon around 2pm. She's started eating some cereal & fruit. She is working on getting a tooth, and she's very close to beginning to crawl. We are loving life w/her.
God has blessed us beyond measure!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

We Are Home

What a warm welcome home we received last night. Just 3 weeks to the day that we arrived in Colombia. Travel was pretty easy, being that it was just me & GG. We got a little bit of special treatment, since she's so cute ;) Just kidding, but seriously--we did get to go to the front of many of the lines, because she is an infant :)

I will post more details about our travel home, but I wanted to thank everyone for your prayers. They were always felt. God has been so good to our family.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Last Night in Colombia

I have been very emotional today. It is Coy's birthday, and I am sad that I am not with him. I've talked to him twice on the phone, and he's fine--Me well, @least I haven't cried while I'm talking to him :~/

GG & I had a very leisurely morning. Sylvia came to get me just after lunch @ 1:30. I went with the other Gladney mom that is here to take her daughter for her Embassy doctor visit. The other mom's that have been here for a few weeks told me that the hotel ladies will babysit. I debated letting GG stay behind, so she could get a good nap, instead of a "car" nap. I was feeding her a bottle right before I was to leave & she started falling asleep. That helped me decide, and I left her w/Juanita. She is one of the ladies here, that mostly helps cook & in general takes care of the families. While I was gone, GG got her nap. The other mom's told me this evening, that when she woke up all the ladies were just loving on her. She is nothing but loveable!!! I am really glad I let her stay. We were an hour @ the doctor & the rest of the time running around in the car. It's not much fun. Traffic here is terrible.

After we went to the Menefee's doctor appointment, we headed to the Embassy to get GG's packet & Visa. You have a window of 3:30pm to 4:00pm. We got there @ 3:50pm. When we got to the gate it was heart sunk, until Sylvia started yelling to the workers through the opening in the bottom of the window. She was telling them I had to come in to get the visa, because I was leaving tomorrow for home. It was all I could do not to break down & cry. They opened to door & rushed us through the security scanner & on in to the Embassy. The windows are on the outside of the building, but the area is covered. When we got up to the windows, there was no one @ any of them. Again, I began to get a little anxious. After a few minutes, a worker came to the window. I picked up the phone & told her I was there to pick up my daughter's visa. She had the packet there beside her & gave it to me. I didn't have to sign anything, or even show my passport. When I started to offer her my passport, she said I believe you are who you are. And that was it....In my hand's I had everything I needed to take my daughter home with me!

Tears began to flow! This was only like the 15th time I have cried today. These were tears of JOY, PURE JOY!!!

Tomorrow, 3 weeks from the day we landed in Cali, I will be boarding the plane & bringing Gloria Grace Gabriela Watson HOME!!!!

God is Good, and He has blessed our family beyond measure!

A few last detailed prayers to ask for:

Tomorrow is the inauguration of Colombia's president. I have been told that many people may not be happy about the president & there is a chance of violence. ---I will be staying in the hotel until it is time to go to the airport, but please pray for a safe ride there. Also, pray there is no flight delay because of the ceremony.

In Miami we only have a 3 hour layover, and I have to go to immigration with Gloria Grace. They search all of our luggage & go over every document. The envelope is THICK. Please pray for favor during this time, so we will make our flight to Nashville.

Here is our flight information:
American Airlines Flight # 916 Bogota to Miami (1:55pm to 6:50pm)
Flight # 410 Miami to Nashville (9:45pm to 11:00pm)

I just realized as I was typing this flight info that I have 3, (not 2 hours as I thought) in Miami, God is so good to take some worry off of me tonight :)

Happy 11th Birthday Coy

Eleven years ago today God was changing my world like I could not even begin to imagine. He blessed me with my first born, Coy. He is such a cool kid. I am so happy to be his mom.

We thought he would be spending his birthday in Colombia, but instead they got to go home early. I was hoping to make it home for his birthday, but that just didn't work out. He has been very sweet about it, and said that as long as I was home to have a party for him--he'd be fine :)

I made it throught talking to him this morning without crying, but now it's hitting me a little hard. Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed having a little time alone w/GG, but I really do miss the boys already. Tomorrow! Tomorrow we will all be on US soil as a family of 5 :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Happy 6 months Gloria Grace

Gloria Grace is 6 months old today. While she has only been with us for 18 days now, it seems like she has always been a part of our family. She fits in perfectly! Truly God has blessed us beyond what any words can express.

We slept well last night. I choose to let her sleep in the bed w/me, because the crib is an older style. The wooden slats are about 6 inches apart. Her whole head will fit through, and she is a squirmy sleeper. I would not have been able to sleep w/her in that crib. We slept just fine in the full sized bed. She did stir/squirm a little around 3am, but went right back to sleep when I patted her bottom. She woke & ate a bottle around 6:30, but went back to sleep. I got up & got ready for our day. This is a picture of her asleep in the bed in our room. I had to wake her, so I could get breakfast before we were leaving to go to ICBF & The US Embassy. Sylvia came about 8:30 & took us 1st to ICBF. We had our first, and hopefully only little paperwork scare. I was checking the document & saw that they put the wrong birthday for GG. Her birthday is Feb. 5th & they had typed dia 02, mes 02---I said they typed the wrong date, and thought they would just look @ her passport or birth certificate (which I had with me) & fix it. Nope! They had to contact Chiquitines. Sylvia called Magnolia, while the man at ICBF was emailing Chiquitines. Magnolia talked to me & asked me what the problem was I told her, and like the angel she is she called Chiquitines & within just a few minutes we had the paper with the right date----I dearly love Magnolia. She is yet another gift God has given us during this journey.

We left the ICBF office went to the US Embassy. We got to skip the very long line outside, because I am a US citizen. It made me feel a little bad for all those people waiting, but I was happy not to have to wait. Sylvia presented all the paperwork, and a few minutes later I was called to the window. You talk to the lady on the other side by phone. She went over all the papers one by one. She asked me if I was aware of GG's heart murmur, and then had me sign the last page. She told me to go to the 1st window & pay, and then have a seat & wait to be called. You can pay the fee in US dollars, but must have bills less than $100.00. You can also use a debit/credit card. The fee is $404.00. I paid the fee by card, because I did not want to carry that much cash with us. The wait was probably about 30 or 45 minutes. They called GG's name & told us to go to window #5. I picked up the phone. The lady told me how beautiful GG was & congratulated me. She asked me to sign one more paper & said you can come back tomorrow @ 3:30 & get your daughters visa. She said when she is on US soil she automatically becomes a US citizen, and gave me information on applying for a passport in the US, for her :)

This is us on the way out of the Embassy. It's a little hard to see, but the US flag is flying behind us :) We went back to the hotel & decided we needed to celebrate. We will have the visa tomorrow & be ready to go home on Saturday, and today GG is 6 months. The hotel owner took me to Unicentro & we had GG's ears pierced. Isn't she just adorable!!!!